Perth: man pleads guilty to 1994 rape moments before victim testifies

Stock image.
Stock image.

A DANGEROUS sex offender has admitted repeatedly raping a 13-year-old girl in Western Australia more than 20 years ago following a cold case review.

Patrick Alfred Comeagain, who now uses the surname Merritt, was due to stand trial in the WA District Court on Monday charged with eight offences over the November 1994 crimes.

He pleaded not guilty, but after an adjournment he changed his plea moments before the victim was due to testify.

Merritt covered his face, entered the girl’s bedroom, grabbed the back of her head and told her: “Do what I tell you.”

He then dragged the girl out of her Geraldton home and repeatedly raped her in nearby bushes before running away.

The court heard Merritt was jailed for 10 years in 1995 for similar offences committed three days after his attack on the girl.

Merritt has a long history of violent sexual assaults against girls and women, and was declared a dangerous sex offender in 2008.

He was released from prison on a supervision order in 2014, but repeatedly breached the strict terms and was placed back behind bars indefinitely.

Merritt will face a sentencing hearing on Thursday.

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